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August 31, 2021

What Went Wrong With Metro Manila?

With San Miguel Corporation (SMC) partnering with Palafox Associates to masterplan its new “aerocity” development in Bulacan, Felino “Jun” Palafox, Jr. outlined what exactly went wrong with the country’s major Central Business Districts or CBDs.

“The mistake in Makati’s central business district, Bonifacio Global City, and Ortigas is exclusionary or discriminatory zoning—excluding the employees from their places of work. Employees are like OFWs in their own countries, because they are five to six hours away from their places of work and families, because of traffic congestion,” said Palafox.

“Before, real estate criterion was always location, location, location. Now, it’s more than location; it’s accessibility, accessibility, accessibility, and mobility, mobility, mobility. That is why the infrastructure that both government and private sector companies like SMC are doing now, are very welcome, as they alleviate the traffic that many people have no choice but to endure,” he added.

Palafox related that in 1990, Makati reclassified and increased the density of the Makati CBD by four times. However, access capacity and mobility were not similarly increased four times.

Adding to the problem is the fact that the CBD is constricted by gated, low-density neighborhoods, villages, and a gated cemetery—making it more difficult for most people to walk to work.

“Elsewhere in the world—New York City, European cities, Singapore—are ‘walkable’ because within 250 to 750 meters, there is a walking facility. Around Makati City, BGC, and Ortigas, you’re surrounded by gated communities, so you have to walk about one to two kilometers to go around. Our planning in the Philippines had the wrong model: Los Angeles, which was designed for automobiles,” he explained.

He also cited the prevailing influence of Spanish rule as a constraint.

“I’m talking about the colonial town plaza concept, where the elite or illustrados lived around the town plaza where the church, munisipyo and central park are. Meanwhile, the peasants or indios and Chinese merchants lived in extramuros, or outside. That was 500 years ago, but it’s still a concept in our urban planning development today,” he explained.

Both San Miguel Corporation and Palafox aim to address these shortcomings in the former’s massive P 740 billion aerocity project which will be located in Bulakan, Bulacan. The site of the New Manila International Airport, it aims to be a pacesetter in being both a green and equitable city.

1 comment:

  1. remove 60/40 FDI restriction na kasi para makapag invest foreign outside NCR! Lagi na lng luzon luzon luzon, tapos magtataka kayo bat nanalo duterte sa visayas and mindanao. Mga elitist kasi kayo!


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